Choosing childcare

How to find childcare

Childcare places are available at day nurseries, pre-schools, childminders, nursery schools and some primary schools.  You can find out about the different options on our types of childcare section.

We hold details of all childcare providers in Newham that have been registered with Ofsted.  This means that they may have been approved to care for children.  You can see a list of our approved childcare providers by consulting our online directory.

If you know the name or address of a childcare provider, you can search for them on the Ofsted websiteHere you will find further details about the provider including their latest Ofsted inspection report.

What to consider when choosing childcare

Before you start

Before you start to look for childcare, think about the needs of both you and your child.  Consider the type of environment where your child will be happy, but also what would meet your requirements in terms of quality, cost and location.

Next, search providers on the online directory, using the filters as required. Choose a selection and call them to make an appointment to visit. Remember schools and pre-schools may only be open during term time.

Visit

Take your child with you to meet potential child carers to see how he or she gets on with the staff and surroundings.

During your visit make sure you ask lots of questions such as:

  • are staff members happy and welcoming and do they engage with the children?
  • does it seem like a fun environment where you child can play and learn safely?
  • what activities will your child be doing there?
  • can children play outside and will they be taken on trips?
  • how do they cater for dietary and religious requirements?
  • how will your child be supported if he or she has special education needs or a disability?
  • what was the last Ofsted outcome?
  • does the childcarer provide free early education for two to four year old's?
  • what qualifications, training and experience do staff have?
  • what is the staff turnover like?
  • what hours can the child carer offer you?
  • if you are choosing a free early education provider, can you take up additional (charged for) childcare if needed?
  • what are the settling in arrangements for your child?

Before you decide

Don't be afraid to go for a second visit if you are unsure. Some child carers offer a trial before you sign a formal agreement so you can check it is right for your child.

Make your choice

Be aware that many childcare providers have waiting lists and you may have to put your child's name down at more than one.

Once you have made your decision, ask the child carer what documents you must bring with you to register. These can vary between providers.

If you are choosing a free early education place for your two year old, you must also bring a printed copy of your eligibility confirmation.